Australia creates captivating virtual world at Venice Architecture Biennale 7 Jun – 23 Nov 2014
Australia is set to break new ground at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale with innovative technology allowing architecture to be experienced in ways never before seen at the exhibition. Augmented Australia 1914-2014, curated by felix._Giles_Anderson+Goad, will push the boundaries of architecture and technology, taking visitors on a virtual journey through a selection of Australia’s most intriguing unrealised projects.
The projects will be brought to life via three-dimensional (3D) augmented models, images, voiceovers and animations, activated by a specially designed Augmented Australia app that will be free to download on common handheld devices. Australia’s temporary pavilion for the exhibition, known as the Cloud Space, will house trigger images of each project and form a physical portal to Augmented Australia, while real-world scale 3D models will be geographically positioned around Venice. ‘This groundbreaking technology has allowed the 2014 Australian exhibition to extend beyond the Giardini and use the entire island city of Venice as our exhibit. For example, visitors with the Augmented Australia app will be able to experience the spectacular 60 metre high ceilings and stained glass windows of Nervi’s unbuilt Australian cathedral while standing in Piazza San Marco,’ said Professor Rene Van Meeuwen, Director of felix. Keeping in line with Rem Koolhaas’s focus on historical importance and national identity, Augmented Australia will showcase 11 historical and 11 contemporary Australian projects from the past one hundred years, which for various reasons, were never built.
It will also bring to life the new Australian Pavilion by Denton Corker Marshall, while it is still under construction in Venice. The projects vary in scale and typology; from a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in Western Australia, to a climate modifying glass house for Australia’s Prime Minister in Canberra. Australian Pavilion Commissioner, Janet Holmes à Court, AC, says the exhibition provides an opportunity to construct a bridge between architecture and the public by demonstrating the process, hours and alternatives behind significant public works, and a chance to give archived material new life. ‘This is a groundbreaking exhibition that tells the story of Australia’s architectural heritage as never before through reimagining and hi-tech innovation,’ she said. Australia’s attendance at the Venice Architecture Biennale is an initiative of the Australian Institute of Architects.
The Institute has coordinated Australia’s presence at the Venice Architecture Biennale since 2006 and is committed to supporting the event until at least 2016. Australia’s previous exhibitions have attracted large audiences during the Biennale and then gone on to tour globally.
Image credit: Minifie van Schaik, Caught Unawares, 2013, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Digital reconstruction by Ben Juckes. Courtesy: felix